When Wednesday Was Hump Day

Apr 29, 2020 | 0 comments

Postcard of Oysterville Post Office  Outide and Inside

For years (probably since I retired in 2001) I’ve considered Wednesday “Paper Day.”  It’s the day the Chinook Observer is published and arrives early in the morning in my mailbox at the Oysterville Post Office.  Lately, since we’ve been sheltering, Wednesday has become “Mail Day.”  It’s not that I don’t go other days, but I’m spasmodic about it.  I always go for my mail on Wednesdays.

When I was working, some people called Wednesday, “Hump Day.”  I didn’t much like that most years — not unless it was one of those years when the class coming through was extra difficult.  (We used to attribute those classes to a conception year when the water was bad, for some reason…  Ask an old teacher if you don’t believe me.)

“Wednesday’s the day we sweep the floor…”

Mostly though, I didn’t like the term “Hump Day.”  I really loved my job and there were never enough days in the week to do all the fun things I wanted to do — especially as the years went by and the demands of from the State became more time-consuming.  And less appropriate for educating kids… but that’s another story.

In the old nursery rhyme, “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush,” Wednesday was the day we “swept the floor.”  Maybe by 1965 when hump day became popular, we were more likely to have wall-to-wall carpets and vacuuming wasn’t quite the focus it had been in mid-19th century when it first showed up.

An earlier days-of-the-week song, going back at least to the arrival of the Mayflower, was  “Wash on Monday.”  The duties of each day differed a bit from the Mulberry Bush version that most “Mother Goose” books include:

From “The Nursery Rhymes of England” gutenberg.org

Wash on Monday,
Iron on Tuesday,
Bake on Wednesday,
Brew on Thursday,
Churn on Friday,
Mend on Saturday,
Go to meeting on Sunday.

It seems to me that, if we’d been taught the “Wash on Monday” rhyme, the focus would have been on Thursday rather than Wednesday… As in forget hump day.  Whatcha brewin’ tomorrow?



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